LAS VEGAS, NV – February 28, 2018 – Sheldon Haudenschild and his new Stenhouse Jr.-Marshall Racing No. 17 are firing on all cylinders in 2018. Haudenschild assumed the lead after early leader Brian Brown slowed with a flat tire 10 laps in and held off veterans Donny Schatz and Tim Shaffer on numerous restarts to score the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series victory on Night 1 of the FVP Outlaw Showdown at The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. 10th-starting Donny Schatz and 12th-starting Brad Sweet completed the podium.
FVP sponsored driver Brian Brown was vying for a perfect night after setting fast time in Flight B of Qualifying, dominating his Heat and winning the Craftsman Club Dash. Brown led the first 10 laps of the Feature before succumbing to a flat tire in turn four, bringing out the first of many cautions in the 30-lap Feature.
Haudenschild, who had closed in on Brown significantly before his tire blew, assumed the lead with Shaffer to his inside. The next four laps saw three cautions for three different drivers. By the halfway point, Haudenschild separated himself from Shaffer and 16th-starting David Gravel and worked his way into third. A lap later, Donny Schatz blasted underneath Gravel and Shaffer to secure second.
Willie Croft slowed to a stop bringing out the caution with Schatz to the inside of Haudenschild. Brent Marks spun on the ensuing restart, setting up a single-file restart. The next start Logan Schuchart hit the infield tire in turn four and Cory Eliason did the same thing on attempt number three of Lap 21. Schuchart and Eliason, who were both competing for a top-five finish, did not return.
Ian Madsen slowed with seven to go forcing an Open Red and giving Schatz one more chance to steal the win away from Sheldon. It was not meant to be as Haudenschild powered away on the restart and went on to win by 1.417 seconds.
When asked about the multitude of restarts, Haudenschild said, “It was difficult. On one hand, you are happy because you get a couple of laps with a free track, but it gets hard to jump in front of guys like Shaffer and Schatz on consecutive restarts.”
“To get a win here, where I don’t have a lot of laps is awesome,” the Wooster, OH native added. After capturing the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award last season without winning a Feature, Haudenschild has now won two of the four World of Outlaws races completed to open 2018.
The World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series returns to The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Thursday evening for the conclusion of the FVP Outlaw Showdown. As always, you can catch all the action live on DIRTVision.com.
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